The American Legion Auxiliary of Los Altos hosted its annual Youth Recognition Dinner Aug. 17, an event highlighting its summer programs that promote youth involvement in government and environmental conservation.
The dinner, held at American Legion Post 558 on First Street, honored 14 local high school students who attended auxiliary-sponsored programs: Boys State, Girls State and the Youth Environmental Leadership Conference.
The Boys and Girls State programs teach youth how government operates, develop leadership skills and deepen appreciation for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Students who participate are exposed to opportunities to run for public office, practice public speaking, draft and debate legislation and actively participate in all phases of creating and running a working government.
Students who attend the Youth Environmental Leadership Conference receive an advanced education in forestry, conservation and environmental studies.
Cindy Newman, Girls State chairwoman and president of the Santa Clara Auxiliary, emphasized the importance of engaging youth in civic government at an early age.
The students took to the stage to discuss their experiences at the summer programs, many sharing their involvement as “impactful” and “life-changing.”
“I learned so much about the local and state government,” said Christopher Lanman, a Los Altos High School student who attended Boys State. “But what really impressed me was the relationships I developed – I made lifelong friends at Boys State.”
For more information, visit legion.org or legion-aux.org.